Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Anti-business culture keeps Hawaii behind

In the wake of the Superferry mess, I am reminded of my 12 years living in Hawaii, and screwing up my life in the process.

Progress in Hawaii is dictated by those individuals who do not want change. However, the stupidity of the situation is that they themselves brought change — but I guess they feel their part in that was OK.

Let Hawaii return to the days of King Kamehameha. During that time, with an estimated population of 1.4 million, Hawaii needed no imports of any item whatsoever. Now Hawaii cannot survive without imports of everything from vegetables to oil and steel and tourists.

Why would any investor want to take such risks in such an anti-business environment?

I tell everyone I know (like many others who have left Hawaii so disillusioned) to avoid Hawaii like it's the plague. Much better and less expensive options in other resort areas, and other countries.

Make the choice — a new future or the old isolation!


Michael Latham



More interference won't help med school

Having practiced as a physician director at our University of Hawaii for almost 30 years, I am concerned by the March 14 letter by Bob Grossmann. He claims that the compensation for the deans of our medical school would make up the entire cost for operating an independent school of public health. What alarms me greatly is his call for our state Legislature to intervene in this matter.

The downturn in our economy deepens my concern that too much of our current costs in health care are consumed by administration. In fact, it was widely acknowledged that the separate former deans of our schools of medicine and public health did not speak to each other.

As we move to address the need to become more affordable as well as accessible in our American health care system, we will need to press all elements to streamline themselves and cooperate with all others to search for and create innovative ways to address the multitude of problems that plague our present system.

I also recognize our need to promote prevention for our health care system, but do we need two separate schools at our university to realize it?


Donald F.B. Char, M.D.



Use student grades to assess teachers

In a recent editorial (”;Federal money a loud voice in ed reform,”; Feb. 14) , the Star-Bulletin noted President Barack Obama has sharply criticized school systems. Citing his controversial proposal for merit pay, the Star-Bulletin stated the Hawaii State Teachers Association opposes tying pay of individual teachers to student test scores. HSTA is right as far as it goes. Humbug annual Department of Education “;assessment test”; scores — humbug because there is no curriculum — are not a measure of teacher excellence.

Why not instead publish longitudinal academic grade (report card) data — using the DOE 10-digit student ID number to protect privacy — for every student in the state, including the name of each teacher each student has had? Easily identified patterns in academic performance will quickly reveal the difference between teachers who can hack it and those who cannot. And why? Because students learn more from good teachers.

The president is right: Indiscriminately hurling more money at a broken system is not going to fix it. Maybe it is time for teacher unions to give substantive support to a president whose candidacy they so recently claimed to endorse.


Thomas E. Stuart

Teacher, Kohala Middle School

Kapa'au, Hawaii


Give Nash more time to flesh things out

Sports columnist Dave Reardon (”;UH should be cautious when extending Nash,”; March 15) should be cautious in his too-quick assessment of University of Hawaii head basketball coach Bob Nash. An extension of two years should be given to Nash for several reasons.

First, Nash was given the job after recruiting season was largely over. Thus, Nash has had only one true recruiting season under his belt — 2008 (and we landed Flemings). Imagine a couple more years of solid recruiting. Second, Reardon's suggestion to not extend Nash would doom the basketball program to poor recruiting just as Herman Frazier did in creating a lame-duck scenario. Potential recruits want to have some assurance of coaching continuity. Two years ago we lost a good recruit to Utah State, now king of the Western Athletic Conference.

We gave Wallace about 20 years; give Nash a couple more.


Von Kaneshiro






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